Friday, December 31, 2010

Prairie Point Christmas - Le Petite #3

Here is my version of Prairie Point Christmas for the Le Petite Small Projects.
I made a very mini version. It measures 9.5 x 15 inches.
I had a whole pile of Christmas fabrics already cut into 2 inch squares so I decided to go ahead and use those.
It turned out pretty cute, but it also turned out a little shorter and fatter than the original.
I think I spaced my prairie points too far apart on the first row and by the second row when I realized things weren't going according to the picture, I didn't feel like ripping it all out, so I have a short fat tree.
  Right now it is only spray basted because I am not sure how I want to quilt it.
I don't want to rush it and screw it up, so I will think on how to quilt it for awhile.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gift for a Friend

I made these dishcloths for one of my friends for Christmas. Two are knitted and the other two are crocheted. I made them earlier in the year but didn't want to post about them until now because I know she checks my blog from time to time.  I didn't want to spoil any surprises.  

It was a good thing I made them earlier this year, because the 4 quilt project I took on in December took up most of my craft time for the month.  It left me with hardly any time to make anything else.  I am still working on one last Christmas project.  I suppose it will have to be a New Year's Gift instead.

~~New Year's Resolution  -  Schedule my time more wisely in the coming year.~~

Monday, December 27, 2010

4 Quilts All the Same

I spent most of my December making 4 quilts for my neighbor.  She wanted a photo of all her children in the quilt and my husband suggested we add names as well.  I designed the pattern I wanted to use in November and the fabrics were delivered right before I left to go out of town for Thanksgiving.  So I had a little less than a month to get all 4 quilts cut, sewn, basted, quilted, and bound in time for Christmas.

I cut out all the fabric for all four quilts at once and started assembly line sewing pinwheels, but then I decided to work on one quilt and get it finished so my neighbor would have time to mail it out.  I finished that first one on the night of December 15th.  Since it was dark outside, Hubby held the quilt for me while I took an inside photo.  

 The last three quilts were all finished on Wednesday, December 22 and I gave them to the neighbor on the 23rd.  Please forgive these bad photos, my son dropped my camera right as I was about to take pictures of the last three quilts and the lens fell out. I wasn't able to get it back together right away, so I had to resort to using the camera in my phone.  Luckily I got a brand new Camera for Christmas which makes me want to hurry up and make a new quilt just so I can take a fancy picture.  :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

These are a few of the Christmas postcards I sent out this month.  

Hopefully they all made it to their new homes in time for the holiday.

My daughter started the Snowman Card and I took it over for her and finished it up.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Gifts for Teachers and Friends

Today was the last day of school for the year. YAHOO!!
No more getting up at 6:30am to get kids out the door.  - well at least not till next year.  

I made jars of hot chocolate mix for my sons to give their teachers.
I only needed 4, but I went ahead and made all 12 jars that came in the case.

I put the four jars inside these cute little treat bags that my daughter helped me make.  Since 8 of the bags were for her to her friends, I really put her to work on this project.  She actually did a lot of the machine sewing and even hand sewed all the turning openings.
 We stuffed her eight bags with Monster Cookies, chocolates, and candy canes.

The pattern is from Happy Zombie and you can find the pattern here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mystery Challenge Postcards

Art 4 Mail had a Mystery Challenge postcard swap.  Two of these are for my partners, one is for me.  When I signed up, I had to pick 5 numbers between 1-50.  Each number corresponds to a different item that has to be added to the card.  When sign ups closed and partners were assigned, I received an email stating the 5 items/techniques that had to be on my postcards.

My assignments were:

Applique Something - I did fusible appliqué and added some green holly leaves and circles
Add Single Thread Stitching  - I used a green thread to go along with my green holly leaves and did a single line daisy stitch
Add a Sketch - the whole card is a sketch with some green shading in places to match the green holly leaves - perhaps I went a little over board in this section.  :)
Add a Strong Vertical  - I am hoping the green thread stitching, flanked by two black lines, works for this requirement.
Add Something Very Dark or Very Light (or what the heck, both!!) - the muslin background is light, and the black edging surely qualifies as something dark.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Poinsettia Postcard

It is was hard to get a photo of this card that really satisfied me.
I wanted to catch the gold thread and the glitter in the red poinsettia which was difficult.
The first image is from the scanner.

This one is outside at in the shade.

This one is in the house without a flash.

Sheen following me around while trying to find a good place to take a photo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Wonderland Postcards - Set #1

This postcard was made for the Stashbuster's Winter Wonderland Swap.
I used leftover scraps of fabric with wonder under already on them.
The white was the left over remains from when I punched out some fabric clouds with my sizzix.
I cut all the pieces into very small shapes and ironed them onto the card.  Unfortunately, it is really hard to see all the white scraps in the photo.  I scanned the first photo, and then took the second one outside, but neither setting helped improve on the detailed view.

After I ironed all the scraps, I laid down some big snowflake sequence all over, even in the white snow, then covered it with white tulle and meander stitched over the whole thing to keep the snowflakes in place.

I made two of these and shipped them out at the end of November, so they should have arrived at their destinations by now.  I have another set of Winter Wonderland Themed cards that I have to make for another group, but they aren't due till later on in the month, I better get crackin'.  :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Butter Churn - La Petite Projects #2

Here is my version of Butter Churn for the La Petite - A Year of Small Projects Challenge.
Again this pattern called for charm packs, but I still don't own any more than I did last month. I just don't buy pre-cuts, so I used my scraps.  Some of the scraps came from two Christmas quilts I made years ago. You can see them here and here.

I did need some extra light colored fabrics though, so I cut a few 2.5 inch strips from some of the other holiday fabrics in my collection and that gave me enough to finish this top.
Now I just have to figure out how to quilt it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finished Fall Table Runner

Here are photos of the table runner I was working on.  It was a gift for my Mom.  I gave it to her on the Monday before Thanksgiving. I usually have my boys hide behind my quilts and hold them up.  But there really is no hiding behind this table runner.  

Close up of the back.

Sitting on my Mom's table.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Trying To Bind...

I am still working on my table runner.  I will show a finished picture of it later on in the week.  I don't want to show it all now because it is a surprise for someone.  :)

It would have been finished last night if it hadn't been for my grey cat, Sheen.  He could have just sat next to me on the table and I would have been fine, but he had an itchin' to play and he wanted to play with my table runner.  He just had to...

Play with my thread....

Bite the pins and pull them out...

And try to eat my needle.

Since it was already late, and I was tired, I decided to put it away.  Sometimes I leave my work out on this table, but with Sheen being in the mood that he was in I decided I better hide the pins.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spare Time Spent Quilting

I spent most of my spare time today quilting this table runner.  I finished about half of it today. Hopefully I will find some time tomorrow to squeeze in more quilting time and finish it up.  This is the first time I have done such close quilting on an actual quilt.  So far I have only done it on fabric postcards.

All that practice on those small cards has sure paid off. I am really loving how it is turning out.

Do these fabrics look familiar?  I used the scraps from this project to make my fabric postcard tutorial last week. As you can see, I got sidetracked and made the postcards before I finished the main project.  I suppose I will always be that way, starting one project before another is finished.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Turkey and Pumpkin Pie

More fabric postcards for the coming Holiday.

Some embroidery designs are too cute to only stitch out one time, so I like to stitch them again and use them on my fabric postcards from time to time.  That is what I did for these two card designs.  I also added some of my own freehand quilting around the stitched out images.

This Turkey is now enjoying the Thanksgiving Holiday with my Mom.  Since it is my year to be at my in-laws for Thanksgiving, I sent this turkey to represent me for the holiday.  :)

The pumpkins below were made for the "Pumpkin Pie" swap for my Fabricards group.  I only needed one for that swap, but I made three anyway.  The other two are going to be surprises in the mail.  I love sending fabric surprises in the mail.  

The card on the right is a little blurry.
For some reason the scanner blurs the images when the items don't lay perfectly flat.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fabric Postcard Tutorial

As requested, here is my version of a fabric postcard tutorial.  This is my very first tutorial so if you have any suggestions for improvement, or see any errors, please let me know.

Fabric postcards are made of three layers: the top (which is the art work), the middle, and the back.  They are very similar to quilts in this manner, just stiffer and smaller. This tutorial shows how to make a fall themed postcard, but these same concepts can be used to create any themed postcard.

*Out of peltex, or similar stiff stabilizer, cut a 4 x 6 inch rectangle.  
         This is your blank canvas.
*Out of your base fabric, cut a 4 x 6 inch rectangle.
*Using a green leafy fabric, cut a 2 x 6 inch rectangle.
*Using a light brown fabric, cut a 1.5 x 5 inch rectangle.
*Using Scraps, cut out three leaf designs.  
          For this postcard I used my Sizzix die cutter to cut out my leaves.  
*Out of muslin, cut a 4 x 6 inch rectangle.  This piece is for the back of the card.

Cut enough Wonder Under, or other similar fusing material, to fuse on the back of all your fabric pieces.
Iron them onto the back of your fabric.  I like to cut my wonder under the exact size as my pieces and then iron them on.  It helps keep the iron and the ironing board cleaner.

If you are going to use a die cutting machine to cut your leaves, it is best to iron the wonder under on the back before you cut out the shape.  It will save time by elimnating the trimming of the wonder under, and will help prevent getting sticky stuff on your iron.

Peel off the paper from the wonder under on the base fabric and the green leafy fabric.

Iron the base fabric onto the peltex.

Center the green strip of fabric on the base fabric and  iron on.

Using thread to match, add some decorative stitching to cover the raw edges of the green fabric strip.

I used a close zig zag stitch.
The width was set at 3.6
The length was set at .6

Peel off the paper from the wonder under on the light brown rectangle fabric and center it on top of the green leafy strip of fabric.  Iron it down.

Change your thread color and add some decorative stitching to cover the raw edges of this strip, just as you did for the first green strip.

I used the same zig zag stitch as above.

Place your three leaves how ever you like on the center of the light brown strip.  Once you have them where you like them,  iron them in place.
Since these leaves are too small for me to zig zag stitch around or use a blanket stitch, I decided to do some freehand stitching on top of them to make sure they stay on the card.  Wonder Under usually keeps things in place, but I like that extra security, plus the stitching looks good.  Put your feed dogs down, and "draw" some veins on your leaves with your sewing machine needle and thread.  I used two different threads for this. For the orange leaf I used a light brown thread and the other leaves I used an orange thread.

For extra flair, I did some free hand quilting on the outer edge of the base fabric.  This space is a good place to practice free hand quilting designs.

I didn't add any extra embellishments for this card, but If you wanted to add items such as beads or buttons to the card, this would be the time to do it.

We are almost finished. The hardest part, decorating the front, is complete.  But now we need to cover the back of the postcard to hide all our stitches.  Peel the paper off the wonder under and iron the muslin to the back of the postcard.

Trim off all the loose threads, fabric sticking out, or other fly aways.

 You can use your rotary cutter and ruler for this or a pair of sharp scissors.  I prefer to use scissors.  In the past when using a rotary cutter I have cut the peltex slightly and then my card gets all wonky instead of being a true rectangle.  It is these little things that make a fabric postcard look wonderful even if you only spent 30 min on it.

This step may seem super easy, but it is very important for a smooth edged card.

Choose a thread to accent the postcard
and set your zig zag stitch to:
Width = 3.6
Length = .4

Zig Zag stitch around all the edges of the card.  When doing this, you want your needle to only enter the fabric on the zig, but not the zag.  Take a look at the photo. When the needle comes down on the right, it is not catching any part of the card. It is resting right beside it.  If you master this technique, your card will have a nice clean edge.

For the corners, gradually turn the card as you enter the turn.  This helps give you nice smooth corners.

Add another round of zig zag stitching, with a stitch width of .2 to get a very dense filled in edging.

This photo shows my finished second round.

I don't like to clip my threads on a zig zag stitch.  If I do they keep wanting to pull out from both sides and I don't like getting the fabric glue out to keep them in place. So to prevent this, without breaking the thread, I change to a straight stitch and stitch just on the inside of the zig zag stitch all the way around the card.  At the end I tack the stitches and then clip the threads.  This extra stitching also adds a nice touch to the finished card.

Using a pen that can write clearly and legibly on the muslin, I usually use an Ultra Fine Tip permanent marker, write the words "Post Card" on the back.

 Address the card and put a stamp on it.

Flip the card over and admire it.

Don't forget to take a photo of it and then drop it in the mail.